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Daily Catholic Question

What is excommunication?

There are two kinds of excommunications. One takes place by a public statement of the proper authority. The second kind of excommunication is incurred ipso facto or latae sententiae. That means if you commit a certain crime or sin (and if all the conditions under law are present), you are by that very fact excommunicated.

An excommunicated person (Canon #133) is forbidden: 1) to have any ministerial part in the celebration of the sacrifice of the Eucharist or any other ceremonies of public worship; 2) to celebrate the sacraments or sacramentals and to receive the sacraments; 3) to exercise any ecclesiastical offices, ministries or acts of governance.

All excommunications are meant to be medicinal. They are a kind of shock therapy intended to make sinners aware of the seriousness of their sin and their spiritual condition and call them to conversion. Because excommunication is a medicinal penalty, it must be absolved when the person truly repents.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012
Daily Catholic Question for 12/28/2012 Daily Catholic Question for 12/30/2012


Augustine of Hippo: A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience. 
<p>There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother, the instructions of Ambrose and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love. </p><p>Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism. </p><p>In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).</p> American Catholic Blog Pope Francis said, “The Church gives us the life of faith in Baptism: that is the moment in which she gives birth to us as children of God, the moment she gives us the life of God, she engenders us as a mother would.”

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